If the name Halima Aden resonates with you, you probably are aware of the diversity and inclusivity that many people are trying to bring into the fashion scene at the global level. Halima is known as the world’s first hijabi supermodel who’s also actively associated with UNICEF to support various initiatives for the betterment of the Somali community, especially the Somali Muslim women. However, she has now quit the fashion industry.
In an elaborate post in her Instagram stories, Halima talked about how the fashion industry hasn’t still warmed up to the idea of seeing a hijabi model and how their ideas of representing a hijab are quite twisted and compromised. Halima Aden opened up about her hijab journey and quit “bowed out gracefully” from runaway modelling because it forced her to compromise her religious beliefs as a Muslim woman. Somali American supermodel Halima Aden made headlines as a successful Black Muslim woman who had turned cover girl for Magazine and even appeared on runways at New York Fashion Week. The 23-year-old model who was recognised by the biggest of the brands all over the world took to her Instagram stories on Wednesday and said that people in the fashion industry never seemed to be doing justice with her hijab and lacked stylists who could understand that wearing a hijab didn’t just mean covering head.
Using the Covid-19 quarantine time to reflect on her values and make new moves, the glamour girl who wore was one of the first models to wear a hijab at mega fashion shows, said, “I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake.” She received online support from Rihanna and model sisters Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid.
Halima’s journey has been a landmark in itself from being born in a Kenyan refugee camp and moving with her Somali parents to America at the age of six to appearing as a semi-finalist wearing a headscarf for representation in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in 2016, at the age of 18. From there, Halima rose to star in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty campaigns and Kanye West’s Yeezy brand and even featured in Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue last year, wearing wear a hijab and full-body burkini.
Halima started at the onset of her confession that Rihanna had let her wear the hijab that the former had brought to the set. Sharing a picture of that shoot, Halima wrote, “This is the girl I’m returning to. The real HALIMA (sic)” and punctuated it with a red heart.
The singer shared the post on her own social media handle with the supporting words, “Love you so much Queen @halima (sic)” which turned the model emotional as she replied, “my whole heart (sic).”
Asserting that her journey had been “with lots of highs and lows”, Halima revealed that she had suffered bullying at the hands of white kids due to her head covering which made her go home and cry. The same happened in the fashion industry when after a shoot, she went back to her hotel room and cried because she was made to take off her hijab but was “too scared to speak up”.
Hijab is a lightweight head covering worn in public by some Muslim women. Hijab usually covers the head and chest and is worn by Muslim women as a part of their religion, in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family